Atomic nightmare

The existing nuclear systems worldwide are not protected against connection

Despite the critical security situation after attacks on afghanistan, castor retailers from german nuclear power plants were again transported to france last week. Reliable security measures are not available, security authorities and operator companies talk possible potential dangers as unlikely.

Since april 2001, they rumble back in regularly, the castor transports. Was on 1. October has been canceled even a transport because of the terrorist wave, so are at night to 10. September again two transports with radioactive atomum from the north german nuclear power plants stade and brunsbuttel broke up for reprocessing to la hague / france. Only with bremen was stopped by the train of 30 lonely nuclear power gates for 20 minutes.

In advance, resistance was ruled from all sides. Greenpeace had violently criticized the transport given the security situation after attacks on afghanistan. The containers are completely insufficiently secured against possible inflation and connection. Especially in the current situation, it is double insane, to bring nuclear on the rails, won it there. Also in the parties, the transport was controversial with regard to the security situation, but the ministers of interior of the lander could not prevail against federal interior minister otto schily.

The castor transports also show a considerable risk of security without the current threat by terrorist attacks: according to german environmental organizations, the castor containers used by type s1 used no secure inclusion of the radioactive freight. So it is called in a press recognition of the organizations federal and bbu of 19.4.2001:

In an accident in conjunction with a fire, the castor containers hold temperatures over 1000 degrees during a period of 30 minutes. Also a sabotage act with a tank fist the containers were not resist.

With the 11. September arises the question of the security risk of nuclear facilities again completely new. You do not need much imagination to imagine the crash of a boeing 747 on rough nuclear factories such as sellafield in great britain or la hague in france had been much more devastating than they were watching the collapse of the world trade center. In its current ie, the new scientist is also dedicated to the question of what was happening if terrorists were stopped on an atomic power plant. For example, if a 400 tonnes of heavy boeing 747 has been filled with 200 000 liters fuel on the ground-breeding atomic factory sellafield, where there are a total of 21 concrete and steel containers with more than 1500 m3 of highly active wastewater in the reprocessing plant b215 alone.

Of course, nobody can predict with absolute certainty what has happened when a unused aircraft in the annex b215 raced. New scientist quotes gordon thompson from the institute for resource and security studies in cambridge / massachusetts, which emerges from a devastating chain reaction: first, the explosion on such an impact has a thick cloud with radioactivity in the atmosphere skid and the burning fuel was further radioactivity pump the air. The resulting fire was difficult to loose in his opinion. Already had the firefighters in new york — even without the danger of radioactive radiation — problems to bring the fire under control, because they did not provide the lotible flow of aircraft fuel for aircraft fuel. But are european atomic power plants out?

According to thompson, the explosion and the fire make only the beginning, because the containers who have stood up to the impact were still heated and then release radioactivity. Thompson, who has examined the high-radioactive waste containers in the uk in the past five years, ames that half of the 2400 kg caesium-137, which was stored in the reprocessing plant b215 in sellafield, was released — 44 times more caesium than in chernobyl. This was covered by rough parts of the united kingdom and, depending on the weather, go to the european mainland. After the reactor catastrophe in chernobyl in 1986, an area of 4800 m2 was lined up for the spot, more than a quarter of a million people had to be relocated. Unfortunately, most of the western european countries are very much densely populated than was the case in ukraine.

In europe, security authorities and operator companies such as cogema or rwe (germany) indicate that the nuclear systems they operated on a plane crash such as the new york are not designed, but they are all dragging that the likelihood of such a stop as a very low to be assigned. The new scientist has been addressed to a request in the state operator company bnfl (sellafield) that construction construction and existing safety precautions are sufficiently sufficient:

Major nuclear facilities, including for example reactors and highly active waste stores, are constructed to extremely robust engineering standards and incorporate large quantities of reinforced concrete as add to integral part of the construction. Thesis facilities are resistant to many terrorist threats including aircraft impact. Safety cases and continggency plans take thesis events into account.

It is already tremendous to claim the collapse of the world trade center that reinforced concrete could withstand the impact of a coarse passenger machine.

The nuclear complex sellafield is located because of its coarse with certainty to the worst-case scenarios of a terrorist attack. But the reprocessing plant in la hague at the kuste of normandy offers "attractive" target. There are more than 55 tons of plutonium, 7484 tonnes of nuclear fuel and more than 11 650 m3 of radioactive sludge — more radioactive substances together than in all french nuclear power plants. According to the world information service on energy (wise) in paris, la hague potentially 60 times more caesium-137 could be free in la hague than in chernobyl. In a press release of 27. September wise has the previous security guidelines as with the 11. September for "outdated" explained. They went off the crash of small machines whose impact size and kerosene quantity only a fraction of what a coarse passenger aircraft can cause. According to new scientist, built in the 1970s are designed for small aircraft such as cessnas, which weigh around 6 tons. But the impact of a 560 tonnes heavy airbus 380 is another thing. One of the most honest statements delivered on 21. September the us nuclear regulatory commission (nrc) (www.Nrc.Gov /) that is conditional for 103 reactors:

The nrc did not specifications contemplate attacks by aircraft search as boeing 757s or 767s, and nuclear power plants were not designed to withstand search crashes,

It said.

For germany, federal environment minister jurgen trittin on 9. October at the opening of the 11. German atomic law symposium explains that the security authorities were anticipated that no attacks on nuclear installations threatened. Of which federal interior minister schily also goes from and in an opinion of the federal government it is called:

Generally, the german nuclear power plants are secured against aircraft styles. However, you could not withstand a stop as in the usa. The consequence of this can not be a, concrete ceiling over germany.

In addition, reference is made that the security precautions have been encouraged in german nuclear systems and the federal environment ministry had commissioned an investigation immediately after attacks on new york, which consequences had to be drawn from such risks. The first opinion of the reactor security commission should be in mid-october. If the state-based resistances are that a danger situation occurs, the interim adjustment of the operation of the nuclear systems could be in question.

Since it is not far from the case for the case of the case, there is aware of the increase in aviation safety for general rearance: the sweeping controls of air passengers and their luggage. In addition, sky-marshalls may soon be with board, as bush in america announced in the framework of the federal air marshall program. And the castor transports are reinforced unhindered: according to the nuclear consensus of the federal government and the energy industry, the mostly contractually regulated transports in reprocessing plants is possible until 2005. According to sellafield, 42 nuclear dates should be transported.